Starwatching

This post was written after the past few days of starting to write a post but not feeling any desire to write more than a line or two.

Comic Credit: Starwatching by xkcd

In the world we live in
Where politics remains a circus
Where people put their feet in their mouth
Where nonsense & stupidity prevails
Where news is a warped form of entertainment

A world where barrels cause inflation
(Donkey Kong would be sad)
Where human want for profit > all

A time of tragedy, suffering & pain
Where some question the end of the world
Where lies, brainwashing & cults seem… common

Yet

A time where arts flourish
Where great leaders rise above & beyond

A time when people start to reflect
When loved ones are given more importance

A time when more go for passion
When a job is more than merely earning benjamins euros

A time for inner peace amidst turmoil
When we look beyond the next crisis

Maybe this is the actual new face of globalized civilization

Postnote: It felt good to write this. Somehow.

Advertisements

Malaysia Malaysian

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it ws the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” ~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Photo Credit: A Tale of Two Cities by roseonthegrey

From Where We Came
A bit of background – I come from a post-independence background. My only experiences about the May13 riots from 1969 are from stories from my late grandmother who lived in Kampung Melayu which was actually one of the safest places to be in Penang at that time. I grew up accepting that privileges would be accorded as per the constitution to ensure that all the citizens would be able to grow together in term of education, finance, etc.

Misunderstandings
A lot of misunderstanding arises from a possibly innocuous term as New Economic Policy (NEP) (Off-topic: Did you know that the old NEP actually ended in 1990?). A policy definitely is needed as we need to ensure that all levels of society is able to function. Problems definitely arise when gaps between various groups are too big (e.g. ultra-rich VS below-poverty-line; most with Masters education VS primary school drop-outs). Thus where & what is going wrong?

Implementation
Would believe that most have come to agree that it’s a matter of implementation. Policies & processes do not work if not enforced. Thus public enemy #1 would have to be corruption (Hong Kong’s ICAC comes to mind of most as well – not only for their glamor 😛 but from their actual proven methodology ).

Next would be to focus on execution & implementation:-
– For those who spend too much time in the media – focus more on actual action & implementation. Not for the accolades, but for the role of shaping the world in things both big & small.
– For those who focus only on action – you need to communicate & inform on your accomplishments. How can we support & work together to achieve if we don’t know what we are trying to achieve? How do you know that you are doing the right thing if you don’t ask?
– For all who are our elected leaders – we need both the vision to plan & the action to implement. “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”

Progress
Some citizens are leaving Malaysia for perceived greener pastures (SG, UK, Aus, US, NZ, etc). We have our own advantages be it from natural resources to fertile land for agriculture to intelligent creative inspiring people. Thus we need to focus on our strengths & advantages given to us. Stop bickering & in-fighting among ourselves. If there is a necessity to ‘fight’, would it not be more worthwhile & important to fight on the world stage where we are competing against all the other 194 countries in the world?

Disclaimer
– With the disclaimer being a necessity considering freedom of speech is there (but with the definition of freedom of speech not clearly defined)
– I am not-affiliated to any political party whatsoever. My interests remain fully in my fellow men, my country & myself – and this post is made with that intention of frank open honest discussion.
– Views are purely of my own & while all care has been made to ensure the correctness of information, it is by no means guaranteed. Also most of the information is spoken in general terms & may be subject to own interpretation.

Question
What are we doing well? What could we do better? What is your vision for Malaysia 5 years from today (May 2013)?

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done”

Being a Better Man

Sipping on ginseng coffee on an idyllic Sunday. Taking mother out for Cantonese food in the evening with the family. A little bit of prep-work for the coming WW20. Reading the Sunday papers. Writing a post or two online. Visiting a few blog friends (who have been oft-neglected due to work :P). It’s a good Sunday.

Photo Credit: The old man and the sea by Sense of Silence

On a Friday Night
“You F*cking idiot! You think that’s an excuse. IDDDDIIIOOOOTT! F*CKING MORON!”

These were the words that greeted my & my companion on stepping out of a sundry store where we stepped in for 5mins to buy a couple of beers & some chips. We recognized the wizened old man with the white beard & pale ‘ang moh’ skin from earlier walking out of the same store. Caught our attention as he was telling something of his wife being sick with something.

The Rant & the Reaction
I realized to my chagrin that I had actually parked my car in front of the entrance to a small car park at the Hillside in Penang. Smiling apologetically, I apologized & explained that it was my fault & that I truly did not know that I was blocking an entrance/exit point. Did not help that the area was poorly lit & that I wasn’t from the area.

Still the old man ranted on. I raised my hand in apologies to the Chinese chap with his family in the SUV behind me.

Casting a last glance at the old man, I decided to get into my car & drive off.

Why?
My colleague asked that she was curious why didn’t I respond. In fact she wanted to tell the old man that we had apologized & that it was an honest mistake – if only to avoid me from blowing up & giving the old man a piece of my mind.

I pondered on that for a moment.

I knew that I was in the wrong. Yet I knew that the old man was asking for trouble & being on the verge of public harassment. Still possible given the fact that he had significantly more white hair or lack of hair (Asian upbringing of respecting elders?) & the glimpse of conversation from earlier that his wife was sick – that probably held me back.

If the situation had occurred another day or time, I would have probably wanted to actually walk over to the Chinese chap in the SUV to apologize. And then tell the old man firmly but politely restating that I had apologized, it was an error & that if he continues – I will take action deemed appropriate to avoid this verbal harassment.

Maybe life, work & dealing with all sorts of people has helped me to grow up a little bit in a way.

Question
Have you been in a similar sort of situation before? How did you respond? Or what would you do if you were in my shoes?

Time, Conscience & Retirement

Work remains busy yet fulfilling despite the interesting yet not totally unexpected challenges. This either means cynicism is catching up or that having a picture… a vision of the end really helps 🙂 In other random news, had recently finished watching Proposal Daisakusen & started playing Kingdom of Loathing

Photo Credit: Hawaii Sunset by ElphiesApprentice21

Time
Something that we are each given 24hrs of – 7 days a week – 52 weeks a year. And how we spend this time translates into basically, our lives as we know it. As we all know of the amazing ability of time to speed up when we’re having fun & to slow down when we’re working or not having fun, the years continues to speed by. Thus we all have the freedom of choice on how we spend our time on our interests & loves.

Conscience
Which in turn leads to conscience. By merely spending time as a member of human society, what we do, does have an effect on people around us. Depending on your world lense, some may applaud your actions, others may be indifferent & others will outright dislike you with a passion. Still, the bottom line remains that our own perception of ourselves, in other words ‘our conscience’ remains the key. Look back from the past, learn from other’s lessons, dream for the future, go out & get things done while keeping your conscience intact! =)

Retirement
An interesting POV & topic arose of late with a relative celebrating his retirement (with his favorite draft of stout 😉 & then again while catching up with a teacher-turned-politician talking about life, the recent political hype to turn to blogs. Somehow the topic of retirement came up with his thoughts being that on average, we spend some ~20 years of life studying. And if we factor in the average life expectancy of being 70 (minus 10 for illness, breaking down parts, etc ;)) – we only have about 20 good years of life left. So how will you spend these 20 years? Will all 20 be spent working? Accumulating wealth? How much would you ‘spend’ while sacrificing health?

Question
What is the best age for retirement & how would you spend the years upon reaching retirement?